Early start Denver model: what is it

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The Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) is an early intervention program for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) between the ages of 12 and 48 months. It is a comprehensive behavioral therapy program that aims to improve communication, social interaction, and cognitive skills in young children with ASD.

  • The ESDM is based on the principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA) and is delivered by trained therapists and parents or caregivers. The program is individualized and tailored to the specific needs of each child, with the goal of promoting development across all areas of functioning.
  • The ESDM program includes the following components:
  • Naturalistic teaching strategies: The ESDM uses naturalistic teaching strategies to promote learning through play and daily routines, such as snack time or bath time.
  • Parent involvement: Parents and caregivers are trained to use ESDM techniques and strategies at home to reinforce learning and promote progress.
  • Individualized goals: Goals are tailored to the child’s specific needs and developmental level, with the goal of promoting development across all areas of functioning.
  • Intensive therapy: The ESDM involves intensive therapy, with sessions typically lasting between 2 and 3 hours, 5 days a week.
  • Data collection and progress monitoring: Progress is tracked through ongoing data collection and progress monitoring, with adjustments made to the program as needed based on the child’s progress.

The ESDM has been shown to be effective in promoting social communication and language development in young children with ASD. It is an evidence-based intervention that has been recognized by the National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorder as a best practice for early intervention for young children with ASD.

Can the Early Start Denver model be considered ABA practice?

Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) is considered a type of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy. The ESDM is a comprehensive behavioral intervention program that incorporates the principles and techniques of ABA, which is a widely recognized and evidence-based therapy for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

ABA is a therapeutic approach that aims to improve behavior by systematically reinforcing desired behaviors and minimizing negative behaviors through positive reinforcement and other behavioral techniques. The ESDM uses similar principles, but focuses specifically on young children with ASD and aims to promote development across multiple areas, including communication, social interaction, and cognitive skills.

The ESDM is a play-based intervention that uses naturalistic teaching strategies, such as incorporating teaching opportunities into play and daily routines. It also involves parent involvement and individualized goal setting and progress monitoring, which are important aspects of ABA therapy.

While the ESDM is considered a type of ABA therapy, it is important to note that not all ABA programs are the same, and different approaches may be more or less effective for different individuals with ASD. It’s important to work with a qualified healthcare professional to determine the most appropriate intervention for your child.

Is Early Start Denver model evidence-based?

ESDM is an evidence-based early intervention program for young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It is based on the principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA) and has been extensively researched and validated in multiple studies.

A randomized controlled trial conducted in 2009 found that children who received ESDM therapy showed significant improvement in communication, social skills, and cognitive skills compared to children who received other forms of intervention or no intervention at all. Since then, multiple studies have replicated these findings and further demonstrated the effectiveness of the ESDM.

In 2020, a systematic review of the literature on the effectiveness of early intervention programs for children with ASD concluded that the ESDM is a well-established and evidence-based program that has strong empirical support.

The ESDM has been recognized by the National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorder as a best practice for early intervention for young children with ASD. It is considered a comprehensive and effective intervention that can improve developmental outcomes for children with ASD.

Overall, the evidence supports the use of the Early Start Denver Model as an effective and evidence-based early intervention program for young children with ASD.

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